Part of speech: verb
Origin: Latin, 15th century
Change in form, nature, or substance.
Subject (base metals) to alchemical transmutation.
Examples of Transmute in a sentence
"The goal of alchemy is to transmute lead into gold."
"Shane left the ROTC transmuted into an athlete."
Popularity Over Time
The key Latin root to “transmute” is “mūtāre,” meaning “to change.” To this, the word adds the Latin prefix “trans-,” meaning “across” or “beyond.” Together, they suggest a change that moves beyond the original form, nature, or substance.
Did you Know?
Beginning in the 17th century, the verb “transmute” became tightly associated with alchemy, the practice of attempting to turn a base metal (copper, lead, nickel, zinc) into a precious metal (gold, silver). Today, alchemy is thought of as an esoteric occult practice, but it was taken seriously as a branch of science and philosophy for centuries, declining only in the 18th century with the rise of the scientific method and modern scientific expectations that theories must be proven with experiments.